My mentor, Rola Tibshirani and I have been video chatting regularly and I have yet to create a blog post about what I have done with her and her class.. so here we go! Her students have been teaching me about a few of the different apps that they use within their classroom to foster their learning, so I decided to download 3 of them to try on my own. I’m so glad they were able to assist me in understanding how they work and how to use them in the classroom because I would have been so lost without their help! I will briefly explain each of the apps I used to get my end result, just to give you an idea of the different ways you can use them in your own classroom one day!
1. Pic Collage – This is an app that allows students to create a picture collage of what they are learning, the process they went through to get to the end result, or for any other way they want to use this app to show their learning. I was unable to download Pic Collage with my mac, so instead I used Fotor, which is just another picture collage application.
2. Skitch – With this app, students can choose a picture, or the collage they made and use writing, arrows, highlighting, boxes, etc. to reflect on their learning process. This app would be great to use for reading assessment where the students could highlight certain words or phrases and talk about them, or arrows on a new word they learned, etc. There are endless possibilities!
3. Audioboo – Students can use pictures of their choice, record their voice and talk about what they did or what they have learned. This would be a tool you could use for assessing the fluency of a second language such as French. Students can take a picture of the words they are reading and the teacher can see where they are at in regards to speaking orally. This is one way Rola uses it in her classroom, but again, possibilities are endless, and it makes assessing a lot more fun for everyone.
The great thing about each of these apps is how incredibly easy they are to use! If I can figure them out, anyone can! 🙂
One of the “Tech Tasks” for my online ECMP 355 class was to type your name into Google and see what comes up. Not one of the Danielle Carey’s on the first page of results was me. Either this is because my name is so common, or it’s because I’m not very active in the digital world. I do, however, have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, WordPress, About Me, Instagram, Pinterest, and other various sites.
Since my first year of the education program, my professors were constantly telling us to privatize our Facebook accounts and other online communities we were active in. They didn’t make having digital footprints seem like a positive thing – it scared us more than reassured us. After George Couros brought up the importance of having a positive digital identity, it made me think about it differently. One day I will Google my name and I will come up… one day!
I decided to make a profile on About Me, but I’m still not sure exactly how it’s supposed to work. I finally got used to my blog, and now I need to figure out this one! We should constantly push ourselves to grow by learning new things, and I guess this is one way of doing just that. Within minutes of making my profile, people were viewing it. This makes me a tiny bit skeptical, but the fact that it’s a professional site, makes me more at ease – plus, it’s kind of exciting!
My blog looked a lot different when I first created it, and I just wanted to share with you what I did to change it. First, I need to give Sue Waters a big shout out for all of her help and insight on how to update and organize my blog! If you ever need help with anything on your blog, she is the person to ask – she’s an Edublog support manager, and her eagerness to help is amazing. The theme I began with was not the easiest to maintain and it didn’t seem like a “teacher blog”, so I changed it! This theme looks a lot more professional and it is extremely easy to navigate. I also added a few more pages, a picture of myself, and got ride of the categories that I didn’t use. I also made sure my my blog was cell phone friendly for the people who use the convenience of their phones. Updating my blog wasn’t that difficult with the help of Sue, and it’s a good thing because it won’t be the last time!
I just became part of the Twitter world recently, so am still getting used to it. I have to say though, there are so many amazing people and pages to follow! I am following a whopping 28 people right now (I know, I know – impressive) but each time I go online, I see someone else I want to follow. I also have a Pinterest account where I follow several educational boards. I want to share with you 5 of the wonderful people/pages I follow:
1. @GreenSchoolsAll (Twitter) – The Green Schools Alliance is a global network of schools connecting and empowering each other to address 21st century environmental challenges. I think it is so important to talk about the realities of our environment in our classrooms and talk about the significance of making a difference, no matter how small.
2. @rolat (Twitter) – I chose to follow my mentor Rola Tibshirani because of the amazing things she does with technology within her classroom. If you are looking to incorporate more technology into your classroom, but need some ideas or support, she is a great person to follow!
3. @WeAreTeachers (Twitter) – We Are Teachers is an account I follow because they offer so many ideas to teaching, they inspire those who teach, and those who don’t, and they support both students and teachers.
4. ♫♪ Kindergarten and First Grade Rocks ♫♪ (Pinterest) – This lady is so great! She posts so many activities, lessons, classroom management strategies, literally anything to make your classroom that much better! I am hoping to teach the younger grades, and for anyone else in the same boat, she is someone to follow!
5. Erica’s Ed-Ventures (Blog) – I came across this blog last year and I still visit her page frequently. She teaches a grade one class and posts tons of pictures of what she does with her classroom. She also has so many great products on TeachersPayTeachers – click here to check them out!
These are just a few people/pages/blogs I follow, and they are definitely worth taking a look at! I know that my list will continue to grow, as I continue to grow.
Thanks for reading!
First of all, I apologize that I have been M.I.A. for the past little while – I guess you could say that it’s easy to forget about an online class when life gets busy!
Second of all, HERE ARE THE RESULTS!
When I asked the question, “Do you think technology hinders the classroom in any way?”, people had some great responses. Here’s what they had to say:
- I think technology can be a distraction to a lot of people, but when it is used for the right reasons it’s great! It also can hinder the classroom in the way that students hide behind a screen and can cause cyber bullying.
- I think that technology can hold you back sometimes because technology doesn’t always work the way that you want it to. There are often technical issues when using the internet or trying to play a video, etc. I think technology can be unpredictable so it is important to have a back up plan when planning on using technology for a lesson.
- I do believe that technology can hinder a classroom, in the sense that backup lessons aren’t prepared, a substitute teacher doesn’t know how to operate the technology, or glitches occur (not always at the beginning of the process, but near the end, causing an abrupt halt in the process). I do believe that these glitches can be a good thing though. It helps us to learn a way to solve the problem together.
- If it is used inappropriately or not for educational purposes, then yes.
- It depends on how you use it. It needs to be applicable and engaging.
I personally agree with all of what was said, but what about students that don’t have technology at home and don’t have access to a vehicle to travel to a place that has technology to work on assignments outside of class time? What about people with certain exceptionalities? Should teachers have backup lessons when using technology just in case? Any suggestions on how we could incorporate technology to help with EVERYONE’S success?